The Mice and The Cattle Prod

Once upon a time, a girl was so in love with a boy, she would do anything to make him happy. Including move into a run down 1970’s mobile home just because the owner would grant the boy permission to hunt on the land surrounding the trailer park (which consisted of 5 trailers on a dead end dirt road in southern Missouri.)

So this girl (me) was from the city.  And I didn’t understand country living, much less country living in a run down trailer with a tin roof. We could hear the constant pitter patter of little mouse feet above our head at all times. It didn’t matter how many traps we put out, these were obviously intelligent mice who could avoid being caught in our simplistic traps. One evening, when the little prancing of mice like sugar plum fairies was more than we could handle, Phil got up from his comfy living room chair and started rummaging around the spare room, y’know the one with all the junk piled up that didn’t get unpacked in the move. He comes out with this long yellow rod.

“WHAT is that?”

“My cattle prod.”

“Why do you need that?”

He didn’t answer. Over the past twenty years, I’ve come to understand that he doesn’t always feel it necessary to answer me. Even if I ask like a kid, repeating myself over and over. He’s just silent. He doesn’t hear me. At. All.  He’s concocting or scheming or thinking or something. All I know is that it doesn’t involve me. And if it does, I think I’m supposed to be reading his mind, but I’m still not good at that yet. Maybe in the next twenty years I’ll get better.


Ta-ting. Ting. Tang.

Ta-ting. Ting. Ting.

Phil has got the cattle prod, business end to the ceiling, zapping the mice. They’re zipping around up there like a huge batch of popcorn. And Phil can’t stop laughing. And neither can I.


Ta-ting. Ting. Tang.

Ta-ting. Ting. Ting.

* * *

So one night while we were sleeping in our bedroom, far, far away from the kitchen end of the trailer, I heard noises. Like mice. IN my cabinets. I wake Phil up. He grabs his pellet gun.

We sneak vewy, vewy quietly to the kitchen.  He motions for me to open the cabinets. I tiptoe to them. Slowly reach my arm out. Before I grab the cabinet door, I make eye contact with Phil. He’s ready.

He nods.

I fling open the door.

pop. pop-pa-pop-pop.

“Got’em!!!” He yells.  And that he did. The mouse was dead. He walked over and grabbed it’s tail and flung it out the front door.

And then it hit me.

I am now officially a redneck. Not because we were mouse hunting in the middle of the night. Nah.  But because we were mouse hunting butt-ass naked in the middle of the night in a run down trailer in southern Missouri.

Butt. ass. nekkid.

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